Ventura County

Agromin CEO saddened by fertilizer plant explosion

Organic soil maker anxious to know cause

Agromin CEO saddened by fertilizer plant explosion

OXNARD, Calif. - Agromin CEO Bill Camarillo said he feels bad for the people in West ,Texas.

Camarillo is anxious for investigators to get to the bottom of the Wednesday's deadly blast near Waco.

But Camarillo understands the chemistry.  Agromin makes organic soil products with only 1 percent nitrogen.  The recipe involves decomposing plant waste.  Camarillo said most fertilizer company use a 100 percent nitrogen concentrate.  Even so, most plants don't explode.

Camarillo was surprised to learn the company had a hanger full of 300 tons of explosive chemicals.  He wants to know whether it was a company not following regulations or an act of terror.

The tragedy is a grim reminder that Friday, April 19, is the anniversary of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing caused by a fertilizer truck bomb.

What happened is troubling for the industry.

At Agromin piles of soil are temperature controlled and watered regularly to keep cool and safe. 

Camarillo said nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium help crops grow, but he says they can be produced naturally without the threat of explosions.

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